Difference between pages "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in El Salvador" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Ukraine"

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{{FAQs by country}}
In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with our host countries, we are making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years.  Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcome among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race, and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other, despite our many differences. Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal.
 
  
In other ways, however, our diversity poses challenges. In El Salvador, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.
 
  
Outside of El Salvador’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. Typical cultural beliefs held may be as narrow as the perception that all Americans are rich and have blonde hair and blue eyes. The people of El Salvador are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We will ask you to be supportive of one another.
 
  
In order to ease the transition and adapt to life in El Salvador, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises with who you are as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the <span class="plainlinks">[http://www.bestpills4weightloss.com/<span style="color:black;font-weight:normal; text-decoration:none!important;background:none!important; text-decoration:none;">best weight loss pills</span>] independence available to them in the United States; political discussions will need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limits. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during your pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.
 
  
===Overview of Diversity in El Salvador ===
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===How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Ukraine? ===
  
Peace Corps staff in El Salvador recognizes the adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, religions, ethnic groups, and ages and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who will take pride in supporting each other and demonstrating the richness of American culture.  
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Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds those limits.  The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The Peace Corps’ allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 100 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds for any one bag.  
  
===What Might A Volunteer Face? ===
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Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution.
  
====Possible issues for Female Volunteers ====
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===What is the electric current in Ukraine? ===
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[[Image:Voltage b.jpg|thumb|right|Ukrainian adaptor]]
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[[Image:800px-Odessa Ukraine 5170.jpg|thumb|right200px|Ukrainian outlet]]
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The current is 220 volts, 50 cycles. Plugs and sockets are of the European two-pin type. If you bring 110-volt appliances, be sure to bring the appropriate transformers and adapters, which are not always easily available in Ukraine. Since hair dryers, cassette recorders, irons, clocks, etc. are available here (some of which can be switched between 220 and 110 volts), you may want to leave your American appliances at home. However, the prices of name-brand items are generally higher than in the United States because of customs and import taxes. Electricity is sometimes rationed, so it is a good idea to bring items that can also run on batteries if necessary.
  
Machismo is pervasive throughout El Salvador. Strict gender roles exist, particularly in rural areas. Women frequently receive catcalls, especially in areas where they are not known.  The more you are established in your site and known to your community, the less likely you will be hassled.
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===How much money should I bring? ===
  
Traditional roles in rural areas often limit women from doing physical work other than carrying firewood, water, or supplies from the market. Generally, women in El Salvador have attended less formal schooling than men so it is difficult for them to be taken seriously on technical issues. Additionally, Salvadoran women are usually not comfortable in expressing their opinions openly. Decisions are traditionally made by men. Gender roles for outsiders are somewhat less strict, although female lsjdbgfkebukanrvkqeurbgourhq;jnoqehrgqjregnqerjntoq85htq;ojgbVolunteers may find that expressions of independence that may be the norm in the United States are not culturally appropriate in El Salvador.
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Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. You will be given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which is designed to cover your expenses. However, with inflation and the dropping dollar, many Volunteers in larger communities find it difficult to live within the Peace Corps Living Allowance. An increase to the living allowance was just approved, and currently Peace Corps is seeking additional monies with the new fiscal year. Often Volunteers bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.
i think
 
me gusta de hub
 
  
hahahhahaahhhahahahahahahahha
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===When can I take vacation and have people visit me? ===
  
jajajajajjajajajajaaj spanish is great
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During the 24-month service, the Volunteer accrues a total of 48 days of vacation time, two days per month of service (excluding training).  The Volunteer may use vacation days retroactively (in other words, if a Volunteer wants to take a 14-day vacation, he/she does not need to wait 7 months to accumulate these vacation days). However, leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work.  Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.
ur a stupido
 
i aint worry bout nothin
 
  
====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color ====
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===Will my belongings be covered by insurance? ===
  
As a Volunteer of color, you may be the only non-white Volunteer within a project or training group. As such, it is quite possible that you may be working and living among people with little or no experience or understanding of your culture. You may not receive the level of personal support from other Volunteers that you would like. Likewise, it may be a challenge to find diverse role models among the Peace Corps staff.  
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The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase such insurance before you leave. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.  
  
In El Salvador, African-American Volunteers may be referred to as negro or other titles considered derogatory in American culture. Negro is the word for black in Spanish and may not be intended as derogatory in El Salvador. Based upon false cultural stereotypes, you may be evaluated as less professionally competent than white Volunteers.
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===Do I need an international driver’s license? ===
  
Salvadorans mddfdffdfdfdfdfdf123ay expect Latin-American Volunteers to automatically assume different role patterns than white Volunteers or to interact socially with more ease. Likewise, Volunteers with Latino surnames may be expected to speak Spanish fluently; language testers may expect Latin-American Volunteers to perform more proficiently on Spanish tests. Latin-American Volunteers may not be considered or perceived as being North American.  
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Volunteers in Ukraine do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating privately owned motorized vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks and lots of walking.  
  
Salvadorans may project stereotyped behavior observed in films on Asian-American Volunteers (the “Kung Fu Syndrome”). In El Salvador, Asian Americans are often identified by their cultural heritage, not by their American citizenship. Asians are collectively labeled as chinos regardless of their particular ethnic background. Current or historical host-country involvement with Asian countries, or the presence of Asian merchants in the community, may have an impact on how Asian-American Volunteers are perceived.  Asian Americans may not be accepted as North American.
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===What should I bring as gifts to Ukraine? ===
  
====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers ====
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Gifts for Ukrainian friends and your host family is not a requirement. A token of friendship is sufficient.  Some gift suggestions include knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; decals and stickers; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.
  
Senior Volunteers are advised to designate a power of attorney to manage all financial matters during service prior to leaving for El Salvador. It is important that senior Volunteers be aware of possible issues of inclusion and acceptance among Volunteer peers. Others in the Peace Corps community may have little understanding of or respect for the lives and experiences of senior Americans. Seniors may not share social or recreational interests and may not receive the personal support they desire from younger Volunteers. As a result, senior Volunteers may not feel comfortable sharing personal, sexual, or health concerns. On the other hand, they may find that younger Volunteers look to them for advice and support. Some senior Volunteers find this a very enjoyable part of their experience, while others choose not to fill this role. Because of the cultural standards, senior Volunteers may command more respect from Salvadorans than younger Volunteers.
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===After training where will my site assignment be? ===
  
Senior Volunteers may need to be assertive in developing an effective individual approach to language learning. Also, where great variety in site placement exists, Peace Corps staff and senior Volunteers need to collaborate to identify those sites most appropriate for single or married older Volunteers.  
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Midway through pre-service training, you will have a site placement interview (SPI) with Peace Corps Ukraine staff.  You will have  an opportunity to talk about your preferences and what you would like in a site. However, keep in mind that many factors influence the site assignment process and that the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be.  Volunteers' sites range from villages with less than a thousand inhabitants to regional capitals with over a million people.  The language that you are trained in will heavily influence the region of the country you are sent to--trainees who learn Russian tend to go to Crimea and the eastern regions, while trainees who learn Ukrainian go to the western regions and generally to smaller towns.  These are generalizations, however.  Formerly, trainees were told of their sites halfway through training.  But currently, trainees do not find out their site until swearing-in retreat.
  
====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers ====
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===How can my family contact me in an emergency? ===
  
Homosexuality is considered immoral according to local norms in El Salvador. AIDS (SIDA in Spanish) is a critical issue in many countries. Volunteers need to be aware that there has been a backlash against gay American men for supposedly bringing the disease to Latin America. Styles for hair, earrings on men, certain mannerisms, and clothes that are acceptable in the United States may be highly suspect in some communities. In El Salvador, some civil liberties are often nonexistent or ignored; homosexuals may be hassled in bars on in the streets.  
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The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. For nonemergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, extension 2420 or 2419.  
  
Some Volunteers find the Peace Corps to be a “coming out” experience, while others find it a “going back into the closet” one. Volunteers generally choose not to be “out” in their communities, but may be “out” to certain individuals with whom they have built trusting relationships. You may serve for two years without meeting another gay Volunteer. Straight Volunteers and staff may not be able to give needed support.  Like most Volunteers, you may have difficulties with the machismo in El Salvador. Lesbian and bisexual women should be prepared to field questions regarding boyfriends, marriage, and sex. Likewise, gay and bisexual men will be asked about girlfriends, and may find themselves in situations where men brag about female conquests, objectify women, and catcall. It is a good idea to start formulating personal strategies to deal with these potentially awkward moments.
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===Can I call home from Ukraine? ===
  
[[Category:El Salvador]]
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Ukraine has good telephone connections with the United States, although service is most consistent from the capital and other large cities. Because international calls are very expensive, most Volunteers call home collect, establish a time to receive a call from home, or use international calling cards.  Cards from companies like AT&T, MCI, and Sprint can be used in Ukraine via an international operator. In some of the larger cities, it is possible to buy calling cards to use to call home from Ukraine.  Also, some Ukrainian cellular phone companies offer affordable rates to call the United States.
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===Should I bring a cellular phone with me? ===
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Ukraine has cellular phone service, and Peace Corps staff members are equipped with cellphones for emergencies.  Nearly all Volunteers in Ukraine have cell phones.  Differences in technology make most U.S. cellphones incompatible with Ukrainian systems, but Tri-band phones should work in Ukraine.  You will need to have your cell phone company unlock your phone in the US, and while in Ukraine, you should purchase a local sim card.  Cellphones are available for purchase virtually everywhere, even in villages.  Having a cellphone is both useful for safety reasons (especially when in remote areas) and also to keep in touch with fellow Volunteers, site colleagues, and Peace Corps staff while away from your site.
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===Will there be Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ===
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Most Volunteers in Ukraine have access to e-mail, though access is not as consistent or fast as in the United States.  Depending on where you live and work, you will be able to access e-mail at a local Internet cafe, at your place of work, from home (if you have a computer), or at the nearest regional center. Volunteers generally find the Internet to be the fastest and most affordable way to communicate with friends and family in the United States.
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It is recommended by PCVs serving in Ukraine that you do bring a laptop (PC, not Mac) as many materials provided to you by PC Ukraine are on CD rather than paper. Volunteers are responsible for insuring and maintaining their laptop computers. The Peace Corps will not replace stolen computers and strongly encourages those who bring them to get personal property insurance.
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[[Category:Ukraine]]

Revision as of 14:25, 20 October 2013

FAQs about Peace Corps
  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring?
  • What is the electric current?
  • How much money should I bring?
  • When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
  • Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
  • Do I need an international driver’s license?
  • What should I bring as gifts for my host family?
  • Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
  • How can my family contact me in an emergency?
  • Can I call home?
  • Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
...and more...

For information see Welcomebooks



How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Ukraine?

Most airlines have baggage size and weight limits and assess charges for transport of baggage that exceeds those limits. The Peace Corps has its own size and weight limits and will not pay the cost of transport for baggage that exceeds these limits. The Peace Corps’ allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 100 pounds total with a maximum weight of 50 pounds for any one bag.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution.

What is the electric current in Ukraine?

File:Voltage b.jpg
Ukrainian adaptor

The current is 220 volts, 50 cycles. Plugs and sockets are of the European two-pin type. If you bring 110-volt appliances, be sure to bring the appropriate transformers and adapters, which are not always easily available in Ukraine. Since hair dryers, cassette recorders, irons, clocks, etc. are available here (some of which can be switched between 220 and 110 volts), you may want to leave your American appliances at home. However, the prices of name-brand items are generally higher than in the United States because of customs and import taxes. Electricity is sometimes rationed, so it is a good idea to bring items that can also run on batteries if necessary.

How much money should I bring?

Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. You will be given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which is designed to cover your expenses. However, with inflation and the dropping dollar, many Volunteers in larger communities find it difficult to live within the Peace Corps Living Allowance. An increase to the living allowance was just approved, and currently Peace Corps is seeking additional monies with the new fiscal year. Often Volunteers bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. If you choose to bring extra money, bring the amount that will suit your own travel plans and needs.

When can I take vacation and have people visit me?

During the 24-month service, the Volunteer accrues a total of 48 days of vacation time, two days per month of service (excluding training). The Volunteer may use vacation days retroactively (in other words, if a Volunteer wants to take a 14-day vacation, he/she does not need to wait 7 months to accumulate these vacation days). However, leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work. Extended stays at your site are not encouraged and may require permission from your country director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa, medical, or travel assistance.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?

The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects; Volunteers are ultimately responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. However, you can purchase such insurance before you leave. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms will be provided, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.

Do I need an international driver’s license?

Volunteers in Ukraine do not need to get an international driver’s license because they are prohibited from operating privately owned motorized vehicles. Most urban travel is by bus or taxi. Rural travel ranges from buses and minibuses to trucks and lots of walking.

What should I bring as gifts to Ukraine?

Gifts for Ukrainian friends and your host family is not a requirement. A token of friendship is sufficient. Some gift suggestions include knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; decals and stickers; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.

After training where will my site assignment be?

Midway through pre-service training, you will have a site placement interview (SPI) with Peace Corps Ukraine staff. You will have an opportunity to talk about your preferences and what you would like in a site. However, keep in mind that many factors influence the site assignment process and that the Peace Corps cannot guarantee placement where you would ideally like to be. Volunteers' sites range from villages with less than a thousand inhabitants to regional capitals with over a million people. The language that you are trained in will heavily influence the region of the country you are sent to--trainees who learn Russian tend to go to Crimea and the eastern regions, while trainees who learn Ukrainian go to the western regions and generally to smaller towns. These are generalizations, however. Formerly, trainees were told of their sites halfway through training. But currently, trainees do not find out their site until swearing-in retreat.

How can my family contact me in an emergency?

The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the Special Services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. For nonemergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, extension 2420 or 2419.

Can I call home from Ukraine?

Ukraine has good telephone connections with the United States, although service is most consistent from the capital and other large cities. Because international calls are very expensive, most Volunteers call home collect, establish a time to receive a call from home, or use international calling cards. Cards from companies like AT&T, MCI, and Sprint can be used in Ukraine via an international operator. In some of the larger cities, it is possible to buy calling cards to use to call home from Ukraine. Also, some Ukrainian cellular phone companies offer affordable rates to call the United States.

Should I bring a cellular phone with me?

Ukraine has cellular phone service, and Peace Corps staff members are equipped with cellphones for emergencies. Nearly all Volunteers in Ukraine have cell phones. Differences in technology make most U.S. cellphones incompatible with Ukrainian systems, but Tri-band phones should work in Ukraine. You will need to have your cell phone company unlock your phone in the US, and while in Ukraine, you should purchase a local sim card. Cellphones are available for purchase virtually everywhere, even in villages. Having a cellphone is both useful for safety reasons (especially when in remote areas) and also to keep in touch with fellow Volunteers, site colleagues, and Peace Corps staff while away from your site.

Will there be Internet access? Should I bring my computer?

Most Volunteers in Ukraine have access to e-mail, though access is not as consistent or fast as in the United States. Depending on where you live and work, you will be able to access e-mail at a local Internet cafe, at your place of work, from home (if you have a computer), or at the nearest regional center. Volunteers generally find the Internet to be the fastest and most affordable way to communicate with friends and family in the United States.

It is recommended by PCVs serving in Ukraine that you do bring a laptop (PC, not Mac) as many materials provided to you by PC Ukraine are on CD rather than paper. Volunteers are responsible for insuring and maintaining their laptop computers. The Peace Corps will not replace stolen computers and strongly encourages those who bring them to get personal property insurance.